In the quest to make smartwatches even more convenient to wear, researchers at Dartmouth College have produced a connected timepiece that can move on your wrist.
The Cito prototype, which has also been developed alongside the University of Waterloo, offers the ability to rotate, hinge, translate, rise and orbit. The device will be presented at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Colorado.
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"Users want smartwatches that fit their lifestyles and needs," said Xing-Dong Yang, assistant professor of computer science at Dartmouth. "The Cito prototype is an exciting innovation that could give consumers even more great reasons to wear smartwatches."
But how exactly does this shape-shifting smartwatch work?
Well, according to the people behind the device, the movements help the watch present information to the wearer in a more convenient way. This could include, for example, the face orbiting around the band to allow viewing when the wrist is facing away, or rising to alert the wearer of a notification.
"Consumers will question the need for smartwatches if the devices are just not convenient enough. Cito proves the true potential of smartwatches and shows that they can be functional and fun," said Yang.
But while there's certainly some practical elements being explored with this concept, particularly for those with physical disabilities or other impairments, there's little indication that smartwatches are in need of this innovation on a wider scale.
After all, many people stay clear of smartwatches because they veer too far away from the look of a traditional, dumb timepiece — something that a moveable wrist face wouldn't help. However, as time goes on and smartwatches become more widely accepted, adventurous designs such as this will no doubt be entertained.
Do you like the idea of a moving smartwatch? Let us know in the comments section below.